“When I joined the industry, seven years ago, you’d hear that if you stayed past 7pm you’d get a taxi home and a Deliveroo,” says Lisa Mitchelmore, head of people and culture at Ragged Edge. “That was the same time as putting slides in your office, and all of that fun stuff.”
It feels quaintly anachronistic now, to think of a time when an Xbox, or a foosball table, was considered a seductive part of office culture. As Mitchelmore says: “It’s easy to see now how those were subconscious ways to keep people working for longer.”
The creative industries don’t have the best reputation when it comes to managing workloads, and considering the toll they can take on people’s wellbeing. Hours have historically been long, clients demanding, creative directors difficult, and agencies and studios blithely uncaring about the impact of all of that. Add to that the unique vulnerability of sharing your ideas as part of your job, and it’s a perfect storm.
“I think because what we do is so subjective, that then makes it incredibly hard to quantify what is good and what is bad design. That comes with a lot of pressure,” says Kirsty Minns, executive creative director at Mother Design.
Part of the creative process is you’re in a constant state of flow. It’s not a normal task that you’re delivering, and that does then come with mental health challenges